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Week 2 is over. Teams have been formed. And now it is time to see what I have learned. The readings presented to us this week focused on teams and how to form effective successful teams. When I was trotting my way through the reading the old adage, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, popped into my mind. Even with all the studies that have been completed and are available to the public and all the experience I have had working in teams in the past, I had never really reflected on those experiences and theories to grasp my own perspective or ideas pertaining to teams.

I myself have always thought that I preferred working on things myself where the output was a reflection of my efforts and more importantly, the only person I could let down is myself. MGMT 300 has thrust me yet again in a position that I feel less comfortable in. Katzenbach and Smith (1992) advocated the idea of ‘real teams’ and when a group of individuals evolves into a team, suggesting that a group of people can achieve high performance and success when they work as one cohesive unit, a cog in a well-oiled machine perhaps, rather than separate individual pieces working alone.  In football, there have been many examples of teams full of great individual players being outplayed by teams with far less talent. Last year a lecturer asked the class the difference between groups and teams and everyone had many answers and the main idea is that they work together towards a common goal. Thinking about those words, I look at the instances where a team of lesser individuals performs better than a group of greater individuals, and wonder what are their goals and how might that differ from the other players. On the more talent filled squad are some of the players focusing on goals such as, I want to shine individually to earn a higher salary, break scoring records? Atletico Madrid in Spain showed us last season what a great team is and how working together with your team towards a common goal is crucial. Their goal was to win, naturally, but for some players that meant that their name wasn’t going to be etched on the golden boot for the highest scorer. Some had to step outside of their comfort zone and perform roles they were not familiar with or not prefer in order for the team to prosper.

Upon this reflection, personally, I believe that sacrifice and trust are two things that will come to the forefront. Seeing as our team has decided that one our goal is to beat every other team in the Mike’s Bikes simulation I will have to make sacrifices and trust my team mates. Having found myself in an unfamiliar role, the CFO, I will have to step out of my comfort zone to perform that role. While trusting that my team mates will perform theirs so that we can ultimately achieve our goals.

Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matterMcKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3--27

2 Comments

  1. You showed a great understanding of the readings this week in your journal, with examples to back it up, but maybe next time i would relate it back to you? and examples from your personal experiences just to show that you understand it on a more personal level, and i personally find that personal examples seem more in depth and keeps the reader captive as they are more likely to relate to it.

    Other than that you did a great job this week, CFO is definitely a big role but with the help of your team im sure you can succeed! Good luck (smile)

  2. This is an interesting journal that showed you are thinking about how the readings relate to what we are doing with Mikes Bikes. Trust and sacrifice in a team are definitely two issues we may have to confront in this class, but as you pointed out, we are doing so to put the team ahead of the individual. How did you deal with these issues in previous teams? Reflecting upon how you once dealt with these issues and comparing them to how you will confront them in the future would make this learning journal stronger. You could also reflect on how relevant these issues are in this class. It's quite clear Peter wants us to work as a team and not as a group, but if the goal is to get an A in this class, will working for the team get you the A or will working for yourself as an Individual get you the A considering your teammates likely don't care if you do well as long as the team does well? You have a good understanding of what is needed in a team, but by taking your new understanding of a team and thinking more about the implications it will have on you then you could develop a deeper understanding.